We've come a long way since German inventor Karl Benz patented his motorcar in 1885. Cars, which were once reserved for the wealthiest of individuals, are now an essential part of life for nearly everyone. They've managed to go from being toys to being tools, and in their long evolution many changes have made the modern car faster, more reliable, more efficient, better looking, and perhaps most importantly of all... safer.
Here are 20 cars, trucks and SUVs, that in 2019, have been proven to be safe in a crash and carry advanced tech to prevent one.
The Ridgeline is a mid-sized pickup truck that is packed with safety features thanks to Honda's redesign in 2017. Honda truck features an advanced body structure designed to absorb crash energy and distribute it away from the occupants. This pairs with "Honda Sensing," a suite of driver assistance technologies that work to prevent the crash from happening in the first place.
Those technologies consist of blindspot monitoring, adaptive cruise control, automatic emergency braking, lane departure warning along with a slew of other features. The Ridgeline is also available with "LaneWatch" which displays a live view of any cars in the truck's blindspot.
When you're transporting your family, you want to make sure they stay safe. That's were the excellent Honda Odyssey comes in. Like the Ridgeline, the Odyssey uses the Honda Sensing package of advanced safety tech.
The system can brake the vehicle automatically if it detects an impending crash and help the driver stay in the correct lane with a "Lane Keeping Assist System." In the event of a crash, Honda's minivan has multiple airbags in all three-rows of seating. This helped earn the Odyssey an IIHS Top Safety Pick + Award, the highest available.
Audi's Q8 is the top-of-the-line SUV offered by the German manufacturer. It blends the capabilities of an SUV with those of a sedan to create a luxury crossover that's both sporty and roomy. As you'd expect with a range-topping SUV, the Q8 is loaded with tech and safety features.
It comes with the usual adaptive cruise control, blind-spot monitoring and lane departure warning system but adds a night vision system with pedestrian detection and a 360-degree camera system to help navigate through tight driving conditions. The Q8 is brand new for 2019 and earned a five-star crash-test rating from the NHTSA.
The BMW X5 has been with us since 1999. Each generation has made it better to drive, more luxurious and safer, with the newest variant the best of the bunch. The big Bavarian gets all of BMW's Active Driving Assistant safety features as standard.
The suite of features include forward-collision warning, pedestrian and cyclist warning, automatic emergency braking, blind-spot warning, lane departure warning, rear cross-traffic warning and rear automatic emergency braking. An optional upgrade package adds BMW's Emergency Stop Assistant, which allows the X5 to pull over to the side of the road and call for assistance if the driver becomes incapacitated.
Acura's mid-size luxury SUV, the RDX, is both fun to drive and supremely safe. The RDX is kitted with the AcuraWatch safety system which includes technology like emergency collision avoidance braking, adaptive cruise control, blind-spot monitoring and a multi-view rear camera that allows the driver to select the best view for every reversing situation.
Even with the technology working to prevent a crash, Acura has taken steps to make sure the RDX is safe for occupants if it should ever be in one. The RDX is a five-star NHTSA recipient and an IIHS Top Safety Pick +.
The Kia Sorento proves that you don't have to buy a high-end luxury SUV to get all of the their safety features. For considerably less money than a comparable BMW or Mercedes-Benz SUV, you can have the Sorento with Kia's Advanced Driver Assistance Systems. This suite of technologies offers forward collision warning, pedestrian detection and avoidance, lane keep assist and smart cruise control.
Go up a trim level or two and Driver Attention Warning and dynamic headlights are available. The headlights automatically adjust high and low beams based on oncoming traffic and conditions. The Sorento is also an IIHS Top Safety Pick+.
The Ascent is Subaru's largest vehicle. A three-row crossover capable of hauling seven people and their gear. The big Subie has a full complement of safety features which come standard as part of the EyeSight Driver Assist Technology. This includes blind-spot detection, rear cross-traffic alert and reverse automatic braking, among others.
The Ascent also can be equipped with a 360-degree camera for navigating tight spots and LED steering responsive headlights that track the direction of a turn to enhance visibility. The High Beam Assist function automatically switches between high and low beams when the system detects other cars.
Mazda's CX-5 is one of the best fun-to-drive crossovers on the market. The Japanese manufacturer seems to have the ability to make their cars and SUVs more engaging to drive than the competition. But with great fun comes great responsibility, and the CX-5's safety features make it a great choice for the responsible enthusiast.
An IIHS Top Safety Pick + AND an NHTSA five-star safety rating make the CX-5 one of the top small SUVs on the market. The Mazda is also fitted with advanced brake assist, blind-spot monitoring, radar cruise control, and pedestrian detection.
Volvo cars and SUVs have been long known for being some of the safest on the road. As you'd expect, the svelte Swede is packed with features like adaptive cruise control, blind-spot monitoring, front and rear parking sensors, and collision prevention warning.
Beyond the usual features, Volvo adds a built-in safety cage made with high-strength steel and the unique Road Sign Information system. The system detects road signs, speed limits and "no overtaking zones," amongst others and displays this information via a heads-up display or via the dashboard, ensuring the driver doesn't miss anything important.
Like its bigger brother, the Ascent, the Subaru Forester is chock-full of safety technology designed to keep its driver and passengers out of trouble. Subaru's excellent EyeSight Driver Assist Technology brings lane keeping assist, pre-collision braking, adaptive cruise control and blind-spot monitoring to Forester.
You can also get the Subaru's DriverFocus system which monitors the driver for drowsiness and distractedness. The Forester is available with adaptive headlights than can track the direction of a turn as well as switch between high and low beams as traffic and conditions demand.
Mercedes' E-Class sedans, coupes, and wagons are some of the most technologically advanced and comfortable cars on the market. Mercedes-Benz has always spent large amounts of its engineering resources on developing and implementing some of the best safety features available.
The PreSafe system uses a network of sensors to detect when a crash might be unavoidable. It can tighten seatbelts, adjust head restraints and close all the windows and sunroof to make the airbags and restraints more effective in a collision. The mid-size Benz also monitors the driver for fatigue and attentiveness and sounds an alarm if it thinks you need to rest.
BMW's 5-Series cars are known as some of the best handling luxury sedans available. From the epic M5 Competition down to the 530i, each model is an engaging drive with state-of-the-art features and technology. The Beemer's engines and chassis prowess may get all the headlines, but it's the tech and safety features that work in the background to keep everyone safe.
The 5-Series is fitting with a vast array of safety tech like adaptive cruise control, lane keeping assist, emergency braking assist, driver fatigue monitoring and collision avoidance systems. Another useful feature is the Traffic Jam Assist which helps keep a specific distance from other cars in monotonous slow traffic.
Hyundai first introduced the Genesis sedan in 2009 as an alternative to the midsize luxury cars being offered from BMW and Mercedes. Hyundai has since created a separate brand for the Genesis sedans, in the same way that Lexus is tied to Toyota, Infiniti to Nissan and Acura to Honda.
The Genesis G80 is a legit rival to the BMW 5-Series and Mercedes-Benz E-Class and offers up similar levels of luxury, tech and safety features. Nine airbags, collision avoidance systems, blind-spot monitoring and driver attention warning systems all pair nicely with the NHTSA five-star crash test rating and an IIHS Tope Safety Pick + rating.
The Kia Stinger is a four-door sedan that proves great handling and fun to drive cars don't have to always come from Germany. Fitted with an excellent twin-turbocharged V6, the Stinger really comes alive, and thanks to a great chassis, it's easily one of the most exciting cars to drive today.
Underneath the fun lies a layer of protection, as Kia packed the Stinger with a wide range of safety tech that helped it gain an IIHS Top Safety Pick + rating. Front collision warning, blind-spot monitoring, smart cruise control, and lane keep assist are among a few of the safety features available.
BMW's 3-Series cars have been the standard by which every other sport sedan has been judged for over 40 years. Known for excellent chassis balance and a range of brilliant engines, the 3-Series is a finely tuned instrument that's at home on the daily commute and at the race track.
BMW loads-up it's mid-size sedan with advanced safety technology like adaptive brakelights, an emergency SOS button that can be used to call for help, active collision prevention and lane departure warning systems. BMW was one of the first companies to pioneer advanced brake fade prevention which cycles the ABS pump to prevent the brake pedal from getting "soft" after hard use or in an emergency situation.
Lexus' ES350 sedan is a supremely comfortable, and ultra-safe mid-size car that directly competes with BMW's 3-Series and the Mercedes-Benz C-Class. Any company that offers a trim level called "Ultra Luxury" is one that takes comfort and premium materials seriously.
Lexus also takes safety seriously and fits the ES with Safety System + 2.0. This package of active safety equipment includes day and night pedestrian and bike detection, road sign information alerts, automatic emergency braking, and adaptive triple-beam headlamps that use steering angle sensors to turn the headlights in the direction of travel. The ES also earned an IIHS Top Safety + rating.
The Toyota Camry is the best selling car in the U.S., and for good reason. Not only is the Toyota sedan easy on the eyes, it's also easy on the wallet with great fuel mileage and reliability. It's a strong choice as a family and commuter car, and with the Toyota Safety Sense package, one of the safest cars out there.
The Camry is available with dynamic radar cruise control, pedestrian detection, collision prevention, blind-spot monitoring, lane departure alert and ten airbags to protect the occupants. All of that helped earn the Camry an IIHS Top Safety Pick + and a five-star NHTSA crash test rating.
Like the Ascent and Forester, the Subaru Outback benefits greatly from the confidence inspiring Subaru EyeSight safety package. Subaru makes this tech standard on all of its models.
Emergency collision braking, adaptive headlights and blind-spot monitoring are just a part of the safety suite that works in conjunction with a chassis that utilizes energy absorbing crash structures and advanced traction control and torque vectoring on the all-wheel-drive system. Torque vectoring works by sensing steering and braking inputs and applying engine power to the appropriate wheels to keep the car on the driver's intended path.
Honda's Insight sedan is a hybrid electric vehicle that competes directly against Toyota's Prius. The hybrid powertrain is capable of delivering 55 mpg, making it one of the most fuel efficient cars on the market today.
As with other Honda models, the Insight has a long list of active and passive safety features which include the Honda Sensing package and an advanced body structure that distributes crash energy away from the driver and passengers. Forward collision warning, lane departure warning, adaptive cruise control and blind-spot monitoring are all part of the Honda Sensing package, as well as a multi-angle rearview camera.
The Forte is one of Kia's smallest cars. But being small doesn't mean it has to be any less safe, and Kia did a great job building one of the safest small cars on the market. Front and rear airbags, energy absorbing crash structure and electronic stability control help keep everyone inside safe.
The Forte is also available with auto-leveling LED headlights with high beam assist, blind-spot warning, lane change assist and front and rear collision avoidance. There's a lot of safety in this small package, and the Forte makes a compelling alternative to the Toyota Corolla and Honda Civic.